With October coming to a close, covering during the Fall Classic is the top priority at sportsbooks across the country.
From coast-to-coast, millions of people are expected to bet on Game 1 of the 2019 World Series between the Washington Nationals and the favored Houston Astros.
Although Texas has folded on bringing legal sports betting to the state this year, Washington DC will launch sportsbooks soon, but the odds of seeing a sportsbook in the nation’s capital before the World Series ends is slim to none.
But with that in mind, which states have regulated sportsbook up and running the bases and which have struck out so far in 2019? Let’s slide in and find out!
Iowa posts $38.5 million handle for September
Iowa sports betting is off to a fast start, and a lot of the state’s success is likely coming from frustrated Minnesotians crossing the border to bet on the Vikings.
Regardless, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission released the September revenue report last week, and Iowa sportsbooks accepted a total of $38.5 million wagers during their first month of operations, generating $5 million in revenue while bringing in a total of $335K in tax revenue for the state.
Michigan bill remains at a standstill
We last heard news out of Michigan following the October 7 breakdown, but the latest developments show that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is not happy with the current form of Michigan’s sports betting bill and has expressed concerns over revenue and the potential impact on the state’s School Aid Fund.
The governor’s office sent 7 Action News the following statement:
The fiscal implication with this legislation is concerning; however, we are open to further discussion. We initially submitted suggestions to a draft bill and anticipated that we would have an opportunity to review an updated draft before the bill dropped. However, that did not happen. We continue to have revenue concerns regarding the bill’s impacts on the School Aid Fund.
New Hampshire cities ready to vote on ballot question
The New Hampshire Lottery is reportedly looking at approving applications submitted by 13 would-be operators for review. The state law allows for ten in-person locations and five online and mobile sportsbooks, and according to the Manchester Union-Leader, the ballot question during the Fall elections will be the following:
“Shall the City of Manchester allow the operation of sports book retail locations within the city of Manchester? If you favor this proposal, vote YES; if you do not favor it, vote NO.”
Manchester and Nashua have the most to gain from offering sports betting due to being the closest NH cities to profit from Massachusetts’ lack of sportsbooks. So far, nine cities in the state have approved the ballot question.
Now, Ohio colleges (who profit from free labor) are whining
If seeing the billion-dollar major professional sports leagues cry for more money during the initial hearings on Ohio’s sports betting bill wasn’t pathetic enough, it looks like the NCAA and the state’s college are attempting a similar maneuver.
The Buckeye State’s 14 colleges and universities sent Bruce Johnson, President of the Inner-University Council of Ohio, to the latest hearing, who begged and pleaded that legalized sports betting would corrupt both students and athletes. Here’s what he said, according to Cleveland 19 News:
“In a nutshell, we oppose gambling on college athletics because it will bring with it the potential to corrupt our students, cost a lot of money to maintain control, and lead to additional cases of problem gambling among our students,” Johnson said. “If wagering on collegiate athletics is permitted, it would not take a great leap of logic to conclude the risk of student-athletes soliciting and accepting payments in order to influence the outcome of games may increase.”
It would not take a great leap of logic to pay student-athletes—you know, the ones that contribute millions of dollars in revenue every year to the schools—for their work or at least allow them to make money via sponsorships and endorsements either, so this isn’t really about “logic” is it, Mr. Johnson? It sounds like it is more about “control,” and the less that you or the NCAA has over the student-athletes and the future sportsbooks, the better off the entire system will be.
At long last, the Oregon Lottery launches the Scoreboard app
The Scoreboard app experienced several delays, saw the website crash, and had a period of several technical difficulties, but the Oregon Lottery finally launched Scoreboard—the state’s only online and mobile sports betting options last Wednesday.
The issues have reportedly been smoothed out, and the Scoreboard app is reportedly off to a great start with $500K being wagered by the time the first NFL Sunday rolled around.
Pennsylvania sports betting gets called “a rolling dumpster fire”
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—who was instrumental in getting PASPA repealed—has never been one to beat around the bush and did not mince words when giving a keynote speech at the Las Vegas Global Gaming Expo last week.
The NJ governor slammed Pennsylvania’s high tax rate (36%) and steep licensing requirements ($10 million) on its sportsbook, calling PA sports betting “a rolling dumpster fire” as well as “the opposite of ‘Field of Dreams’” and outright “extortion.” Love him or hate him, it’s pretty hard to disagree when the Keystone State has by far the highest barrier of entry out of any state in the country that legalized sports betting.
Washington DC judge lifts restraining order on Intralot payment
DC Superior Court Judge John Campbell lifted the temporary restraining order that halted the initial $30 million payment to Intralot for the city’s mobile sports betting app during a full hearing on Friday, October 18.
Dylan Carragher, a local mobile app developer, filed the lawsuit, claiming the DC Council violated the city’s self-governing law when it did not allow a competitive bidding process to select the online and mobile app provider for the DC Lottery.
However, Judge Campbell found on Friday that the DC Council did not act illegally when it approved the $215 million no-bid contract with Intralot. Carragher’s attorney, Donald Temple, said the suit would move forward despite the setback. The District is expected to begin accepting applications in the coming weeks with the city-wide online and mobile platform to launch sometime in 2020.
And that covers all the biggest legal sports betting stories that you may have missed and what could be coming down the pipe soon. As always, to stay on top of all the action happening in the United States, check out our legal sports betting bill tracker for the latest movements in your state legislature.
While residents in 13 states have legal sports betting ready for the World Series, the rest of the country is in a pickle. Fortunately, we have a recommended list of the best-reviewed online sportsbooks that have odds and betting lines readily available for the Fall Classic so you can knock all your wagers out of the park!